National Pet poison prevention month

As March is pet poison prevention month up and down the UK, we thought we would shine a light on potentially harmful substances to your pets to help keep them safe. Symptoms of poisoning can be very traumatic, for you and your pet, which is why it is best to do everything you can to create a safe home environment.

How to prevent your pet being poisoned:

  • Always keep an eye on your dog
  • Keep all potentially harmful substances well out of reach from your dog, preferably locked or shut away in cupboards. You could even use child locks if your dog is able to nudge open cupboards.
  • Keep houseplants where your dog cannot reach them and always collected dropped leaves or petals.
  • When outside, ensure spaces are overhung by poisonous plants.
  • Change dogs water supplies regularly and make sure they cannot be contaminated by anything nearby.

Some harmful household products include:

  • Car antifreeze
  • Garden fertiliser
  • Gorilla glue or similar products
  • Trap bait for rodents/ slug pellets
  • Batteries- contain corrosive fluid
  • Household cleaning items
  • Ice melting products
  • Medications- prescribed and over-the-counter
  • Car care products, such as cleaners and oils
  • Nicotine products
  • Insect pesticides
  • Pool or pond products

Some common foods can also be harmful to pets, avoid feeding them any of the following:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Any substance containing caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Fatty foods- especially fat/grease from cooking
  • Bones from chicken or turkey
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Grapes or raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Yeast or bread dough

What are the symptoms of poisoning in dogs?

Symptoms of poisoning can vary massively depending on what your dog has ingested. Below is a list of the most commonly ingested poisons and their corresponding symptoms to look out for:

  • Chocolate- agitation, tremors, convulsions, heart issues, dehydration, hyperactivity, high temperature
  • Human drugs e.g ibuprofen- Sickness, diarrhoea, kidney failure, bleeding from the gut, stomach ulcers
  • Rat poison- excessive bruising or bleeding, these effects may not be obvious until several days later
  • Slug pellets- Unsteady on feet breathing problems, convulsions
  • Grapes/ raisins- kidney failure
  • Vitamin D- Sickness, diarrhoea, convulsions, abnormal heart beat, kidney failure, bleeding from the gut
  • Onions- Drooling, nausea, oral irritation, sickness, diarrhoea, pale gums

What to do in an emergency:

  1. Prevent your dog from eating or inhaling any more of the poison
  2. Phone your vet and follow their guidance
  3. Gather the packaging or a sample of the poison if it is safe to do so
  4. Drive your dog to the vet, keeping them calm and cool on the journey
  5. Show the packaging or sample to your vet
  • Don’t attempt to try and treat or medicate your dogs yourself.
  • Never try to make your dog sick. Don’t use salt water as it can be extremely dangerous.
  • If the skin or fur is contaminated, wash with a mild shampoo and water, then rinse well and dry.
  • Keep your dog away from other animals to avoid cross contamination.


If in any doubt call animal poison on: 01202 50 9000 for 24 hour expert advice from veterinary poison specialists.